Mets outfielder Starling Marte has been diagnosed with a partial non-displaced fracture of the middle finger on his right hand, the team informed reporters (including Steve Gelbs of SNY). The club currently considers him day-to-day, although it remains to be seen if he’ll eventually require a stint on the injured list.
Marte suffered the injury last night, when he was hit on the hand by a 96 MPH fastball from Pittsburgh’s Mitch Keller. He came out of the game a couple innings later, and he sat out today’s doubleheader. The Mets haven’t provided a timetable as to when they expect Marte to be ready for game action, although it’s seemingly encouraging they’re not immediately placing him on the injured list. The expansion of active rosters in September from 26 to 28 players gives the Mets a bit more leeway to give Marte a few days, particularly with an off day tomorrow to reassess his condition.
Signed to a four-year, $78MM deal over the winter, Marte has had an All-Star first season in Queens. He’s hitting .292/.347/.468 through 505 trips to the plate, on par with the best offensive seasons of his career. The star outfielder has connected on 16 homers, 24 doubles and five triples. He’s chipped in 18 stolen bases (albeit with nine caught stealings) and served as the club’s primary right fielder and #2 hitter.
The Mets turned to Tyler Naquin in right field today, and he’d presumably pick up the majority of playing time if Marte’s forced out of action. The lefty-hitting Naquin can split time with the right-handed Darin Ruf in the corner opposite Mark Canha, with Brandon Nimmo continuing to man center field.
New York has been hit with a couple notable injury situations in recent days. They placed Max Scherzer on the 15-day injured list with side fatigue this morning. At 87-51, the Mets are a lock to make the playoffs, but they’re in a tight NL East battle with the defending World Series champions. New York holds a half-game lead on the Braves in a race for the division title and accompanying first-round bye.